Yakuza 7 Shocks Longtime Series Fans With This Bold New Direction
SEGA’s Yakuza series has been through many changes throughout its nearly 14-year history such as new mechanics, new playable characters, new mini-games, and, of course, new engines. But the mainline series has always been a fast-paced action brawler.
However, the next mainline entry in the series, officially titled in the West as Yakuza: Like a Dragon (which is basically Yakuza 7), takes the series in a completely different direction as a turn-based RPG. The upcoming Yakuza game got a full reveal on Thursday at an event in Japan.
When it comes to the new gameplay style, Yakuza 7’s official website describes it as one that “combines the series’ signature action with an RPG command system.”
“It has evolved into a system in which anyone can easily enjoy exhilarating battles,” the description also read. “In this completely new battle system, [protagonist] Ichiban Kasuga and his party will fight by selecting techniques with various effects such as attack, recovery, support, and more.”
Since this is a major departure for the Yakuza series, series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi reportedly said at the reveal event that if fans turn out to be unhappy with this new direction then future games will go back to the traditional action brawler style of the series.
As for the story, it begins with Ichiban willingly going to prison for a gang murder that he didn’t commit and then getting released in 2019 after serving an 18-year sentence. Ichiban deliberately took the fall for the murder out of loyalty to his yakuza clan but when he tries to reunite with his former clan in Kamurocho, he gets betrayed, shot, and left for dead by his old yakuza boss, Masumi Arakawa.
When Ichiban awakens, he finds himself in a completely different city: Yokohama. From there, he will have to get to the bottom of the mystery behind his boss’ betrayal.
Yakuza 7 launches on January 16th, 2020 in Japan for PS4 and will release in the West later that year.